Our lucky break came when one of CL's Stanford friends started working at Pixar. BOOYAH.
From the moment we entered the gates, I started squealing. Poor AF, CL, and CL's friends had to put up with it the entire time we were inside.
I was still reeling from the experience when we sat down for dinner at Jayakarta in Berkeley:
The restaurant was completely full when we first walked in, but luckily a table opened up fairly quickly:
AF, CL, CL's brother, and I agreed to go family style, while all of CL's friends wanted to order their own individual dishes. Since CL's parents hail from Indonesia, AF and I sat back and let CL and her brother do all the ordering.
The four of us started with an order of perkedel:
Perkedel is a fried patty made of ground potatoes, cabbage, and carrots.
Then came the kari ayam telor or yellow chicken curry:
I don't know how the curry is supposed to taste, but this one was a bit watered down in my opinion.
Of course we ordered the rendang:
I don't know if Jayakarta switched chefs since our days in undergrad or if it tempered its recipe for the American palate, but the rendang was not even a tiny bit spicy. I remember my mouth being on fire when I had this back in undergrad.
AF wanted beef tripe, so that's what we asked for in our nasi goreng (Indonesian fried rice):
Unfortunately, the beef tripe was unappealingly dry. Maybe beef tripe just isn't meant for stir frying.
The kangkung was a nice surprise:
The shrimp paste chili sauce used to saute the water spinach and fried tofu was very pungent (in a good way) and really made the dish.
My favorite, however, was something that I specifically asked for, the krupuk udang:
I love shrimp chips in general, but what makes these shrimp chips special is the thick peanut sauce that comes with it. So damn yummy.
There were a lot more misses than hits that night and while that makes me sad, I have to face the truth. Jayakarta has always been my standard for Indonesian cuisine, but I may now have to reevaluate.
2026 University Ave
Berkeley, CA 94704